SBS Lecture

2020 Mar 12

Feminism at Workplace?: The Unconventional Linkage of the Feminine and the Feminist in Contemporary South Korea

4:30pm to 6:30pm

Location: 

Belfer Case Study Room (S020), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138

SBS Distinguished Lecture In the Social Sciences

Hyun Mee Kim
Professor and Chair of the Department of Cultural Anthropology, Yonsei University

Hyun Mee Kim is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Cultural Anthropology and the core faculty member for the Graduate Program in Culture and Gender Studies. Her research interests include gender, migration, critical cultural theories, urban and human ecology and globalization and labor. She has written articles on diverse migrants coming to South Korea including marriage migrants, asylum seekers and economic migrants. Her current research is on the formation of the therapeutic self and the emergence of city meditators in South Korea. She is the author of Cultural Translation in a Global Era (2005) and We Always Leave Home: Becoming Migrants in South Korea (2014), and co-edited Intimate Enemy: How Neoliberalism Has Become Our Everyday Lives (2010), and We Are All People with Differences: Towards Multiculturalism for Co-existence (2013). She was a Committee Member for the Division of Human Rights for Foreigners, National Human Rights Commission of Korea (2008-2010) and is a member of the Forum on Human Rights for Migrant Women in South Korea.

Chaired by Nicholas Harkness, Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University

Abstract:
The lecture analyzes how contemporary Korean women experience 'gender' in unstable workplaces and develop new ways of intimacy or 'fake intimacy', and affective bonds with their co-workers. It reflects the impact of neoliberal precarity on Korean young women at workplace and also the current debate of Korean feminism against marriage as the state institution. The working women tend to incorporate recent feminist ideas of demystifying heterosexual norms and marriage in the name of “4B” campaign and the "escape the corset" movement. The so-called "4-Anti" (non-marriage, non-birth, non-relationship and non-sex) has emerged as the most radical gender politics around online public forums. However, young women who constantly change jobs need to perform the practices of intimacy and ‘showing’ by presenting cheerful, motivated, and feminine self to co-workers. Based on my interviews with yougn working women, this presentation shows how Korean women negotiate the tensions and challenges of work, performed self, and feminist politics to gain corporate citizenship.

Supported by the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) Endowment for Korean Studies at the Korea Institute, Harvard University... Read more about Feminism at Workplace?: The Unconventional Linkage of the Feminine and the Feminist in Contemporary South Korea

2020 Feb 20

Korea’s America: A Power Intertwined with Korean Sovereignty, 1882-1945

4:30pm to 6:30pm

Location: 

Thomas Chan-Soo Kang Room (S050), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138

SBS Seminar
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Hanmee Na Kim
Assistant Professor of History, Wheaton College

Hanmee Na Kim is an Assistant Professor of History at Wheaton College. Her research interests include Americanism in Korea, Korea-U.S. diplomatic/cultural/intellectual interactions (1866-1945), and Korean students in the U.S. (1884-1960). Her work is published in Positions: Asia Critique, and she is currently working on a book manuscript on the development of Americanism in Korea. She received her Ph.D. in Modern Korean History from UCLA.

Chaired by Carter Eckert, Yoon Se Young Professor of Korean History, Harvard University

Abstract:
From 1882 to 1943, the United States officially and consistently maintained its policy of non-interference in Korea and emphasized that it remained disinterested.  And yet, a significant group of Korean elites during this period continually articulated, believed in, and strategically used the idea that America was a supporter of Korean sovereignty.  This talk explores how and why this tendency materialized by examining the nature of early Korea-U.S. relations (1882-1905) as well as the activities and discourse of Korean students in the U.S. during the colonial period. Through this exploration, the talk asserts that there developed a Korean version of America during this period—an “America” that was intricately linked with Korean dynamics, interests, and issues and less concerned with the actual political characteristics of the U.S. This discussion offers a way to historically trace, in part, the development of Americanism in Korea.

Generously supported by the Korea Institute’s SBS Foundation Research Fund... Read more about Korea’s America: A Power Intertwined with Korean Sovereignty, 1882-1945